Month seven

Keep­sakes for baby

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

There are many ways to make sure you trea­sure some­thing spe­cial for your baby, writes Mar­got Ber­tels­mann. Th­ese are some of our read­ers’ favourites YOU ONLY HAVE one chance to save a lock of your baby’s hair from her first-ever hair­cut, or the tini­est baby­gro you soon won’t be able to be­lieve he ever fit­ted into. Plan ahead! Very soon, you’ll be so busy and over­whelmed you might for­get to set aside one or two sen­ti­men­tal bits ‘n bobs to ooh and aah over, and hu­mil­i­ate your grown-up teenager with at his 18th birth­day party. Here are some great ideas from par­ents who’ve been there.

LIV­ING IN A MA­TE­RIAL WORLD

Some peo­ple keep the front page of a news­pa­per from the day of their baby’s birth. How old school? But con­sider that it’s un­likely there will even be news­pa­pers when your baby grows up, so it’s maybe not such a quaint idea af­ter all. A “time cap­sule” of the events, fash­ions, tech­nol­ogy and his­tory of the day your child was born is a spe­cial way of memo­ri­al­is­ing the other very im­por­tant event of that time: their birth. ● “We kept a teen mag­a­zine for our boys, so they can see whether their prob­lems in pu­berty have changed at all (un­likely). – Urs

● “I keep jour­nals for both my sons with photos, cards, scraps of wrap­ping pa­per and rib­bons from gifts, and mem­o­ra­bilia like tick­ets to a spe­cial event. I did it to build a strong nar­ra­tive for them. I have also kept some of their baby clothes, which I want to use as ma­te­rial to make a quilt for each of them.” – Sa­man­tha

● “I have the plas­tic wrist tags from the hospi­tal on the day they were born.” – Stacey

ON MY BODY

Some par­ents want to re­mem­ber their child’s birth on their own body. A tat­too of your child’s name or birth­date is a com­mon way to be re­minded of the most im­por­tant lit­tle per­son in your life per­ma­nently. ● “When my now ex-wife fell preg­nant with my now-19-year-old son I bought my­self a cheap brass bracelet as a re­minder of how happy I was. I was in a deep dark place at the time and he was a life saver. I’ve never taken it off and to this day it serves the pur­pose I bought it for.” – Quentin

YOU NEVER HAVE TO STOP COL­LECT­ING REAL-LIFE KEEP­SAKES AS YOUR CHILD GROWS

● “I keep all let­ters my daugh­ter writes to me, my re­sponses & those she re­ceived from her peers. I record her danc­ing, singing and speeches too. I also have a jour­nal where I jot down her mile­stones, from the 3D scans when I was still car­ry­ing her in my belly, to her foot­print of her first day on earth. I write my mo­ments of pride in the jour­nal too, and love let­ters she hasn’t seen yet.” – Sele­bano

THE VIR­TUAL WORLD

Our mem­o­ries are in­creas­ingly cu­rated on­line. There are loads of ways you can make sure your lit­tle ones will get to see their baby pics even if the smart­phone you had when they were a baby has long since been re­tired. Project Life is an ex­cel­lent on­line/real world cross­over scrap­book­ing app. Google “apps for chil­dren’s art­work” for ways to keep your kids’ art from tak­ing over your fridge. Ma­jor so­cial me­dia sites also of­fer ways to keep con­tent for chil­dren – check out Face­book’s “scrapbook” fea­ture, for ex­am­ple, which al­lows you to tag photos of them be­fore they even have their own ac­counts. ● “We cre­ated email ad­dresses for our girls and will hand them over when they turn 16. In the mean­time we mail photos, mes­sages, achieve­ments and any­thing else to those ad­dresses.” – Anthony This mom of­fers a funny-but-true re­minder of our ten­den­cies to keep more for our first­borns, and run out of steam with later chil­dren: ● “I have a book I wrote in when preg­nant with my first. It is writ­ten to her, all about choos­ing her name, mem­o­ries of her first kick, places she ‘trav­elled’, mu­sic I played her. It ends when I was in­duced but now she writes in it. Rysz, be­ing num­ber two, got noth­ing.” - Luique

BITS N BOBS… OF BABY

Mom Meea says she saved first blan­kets, jer­seys, bears and “the cap that was placed on my third baby’s head right af­ter he was born”, but that she hadn’t saved hair or teeth “or other ac­tual bits of baby”. That made us snort­laugh – but it ap­pears to be a pow­er­fully sen­ti­men­tal keep­sake choice. Read on... ● “I know a woman who kept her first child’s nail clip­pings along with the usual – first tooth lost, locket of first hair.” – Lor­raine

● “I have the pee-on-the-stick tests for all three my chil­dren. The catch is I for­got to write the names/dates on them, so they are re­ally just three sticks with pos­i­tive preg­nancy lines cov­ered in my urine. I will of course one day write their names on ran­domly and just go,’Yep, that’s your stick’.” – Ce­leste

● “I’ve heard of some­one who had their chil­dren’s um­bil­i­cal stumps cast in sil­ver and put on charm bracelets which they gave to them when they were older.” – Kim

● “I cur­rently have two baby teeth in the change holder of my wal­let.” – Bri­ony

● “This was me un­til I had to get a new wal­let.” – Rikky

A NEW LIFE

A new life is of­ten cel­e­brated by plant­ing a new life. You could plant a tree for your new­born and marvel at how both of them grow over the years. In some cul­tures, the placenta – the or­gan your body made from scratch to feed your foe­tus, and ex­pelled from your body af­ter birth – is kept and planted, or even eaten: ● “I planted my placenta in a pot with a lemon tree. This year is the first year it’s bear­ing fruit (he just turned six). No­body wants G&Ts at my house this year!” – El­iz­a­beth YP

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